Recently, a friend set a goal to lighten up. The strange thing about that is that the very same week, I had committed to myself to stop yelling. With a 4.5 year old and a not quite year old puppy, it seems like whenever I was home, all I was doing was yelling at someone.
I realized that I just didn't like the sound of my own voice any more. But not yelling at an independent-minded 4.5 year old would really require either a) more patience than I have or b) one of us leaving the country. But I'm trying.
When I'm getting annoyed, I focus on keeping my voice quiet. Secretly, I hope that by not yelling, I will get less mad, but well, I'll settle for quiet. The trick is that I am not giving in, or being super nice, just quiet about whatever it is. And relying on enforcing consequences to make my point.
It's been about a week now, and results are mixed. I feel like I've yelled less, especially at the kid; the dog still has the ability to make me yell as it seems like that is my only hope of getting his attention. Today, I didn't yell at Chance when he hit me with a toy hammer, but he didn't get to watch a movie tonight either.
The real test will be if he hits me with the hammer again tomorrow.